Nigeria exited the 1998 World Cup in very disappointing circumstances, the Super Eagles were hit for four by a rampant Denmark side inspired by Ebbe Sand and Laudrup brothers.
In an exclusive interview, former Super Eagles defender, Taribo West revealed the players weren’t fit for the game.
Nigeria was the only African team that progressed to the round of 16 in 1998 and it seemed they were destined to pick Denmark apart, however, Taribo admitted the players were out of shape and the former European champions exposed those weaknesses.
Denmark scored two goals inside 12 minutes (Moller 3′, Laudrup 12′). In the second half goals from Sand (58′) and Thomas Helveg (76′) put the game beyond Nigeria.
Tijani Babangida then scored a consolation on the 77th minute with the Eagles sapped of any fight.
In phone interview on Brila FM’s Popular Side with Ex Nigerian Goal keeper, Peter Rufai in his memoir of his Eagles days, the duo recalled the debacle of Nigeria’s 1998 World Cup campaign.
“We weren’t fit enough to play that game; none of us were.
“There were balls I could have won easily of tackles I could have made that I failed and I knew it was because I wasn’t fit and the team wasn’t to,” the former Center Back recounted.
“I remember after that game for two weeks we weren’t speaking to each other because I felt my defence let me down,” Rufai recalled.
“It was a certain incident, when Sand hit a shot from range and I parried, but no defender was on hand to clear, Sand arrived inside the box and hit the rebound to score; I was furious.”
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